As anyone who checked out my latest VLOG will know, after a highly entertaining bus ride the other week with a fellow spoonie I have decided to blog more openly about the dates I have been on. Up until now I have kept them to myself purely because they didn’t go anywhere, however as this lovely girl pointed out to me, it’s the sort of the thing she would like to read. So I’ve decided to do a couple of blogs retelling these dates – the guy’s names and locations have been changed!
Just before Christmas a guy I’d met a handful of times in the local clubs and around uni asked me for a drink. Thomas knew I was ill, so in my eyes we had already passed the first hurdle. There was going to be no need for an awkward ‘so by the way I have a severely dysfunctional body, you cool with that?’, conversation followed by spluttering and murmured excuses into half-drunk cocktails. I was feeling far more relaxed than I usually would do, simply because I didn’t feel like I had the ‘disability burden’ to get out there.
It was the usual routine, pull every outfit I deemed to be flattering enough to wear on a date from my wardrobe, and then force my friends to pick the winner. It’s a wonder they put up with me really. Whilst I was spending so much time on my appearance, I did not stop to think about strapping down my left arm. The spasms in this arm have been the death blow to so many dates but I still don’t learn. After all, it just isn’t the most attractive look. If I had thought about how twitchy I had been that day I would have seen the disaster in my plan.
The start of the date was fantastic; we were sat across from each other in an adorable cocktail bar with scented candles everywhere. The conversation was flowing with pauses only for laughter. We seemed to connect, and after several more drinks decided to go for a walk. Tom was a gentleman and held the door open for me, as I turned around to thank him and make a joke I twitched. I don’t mean a little twitch either, it was the sort that leaves you feeling bruised. In typical fashion I caught him in the neck. If anything is going to kill the mood on a date, it’s that.
At the time I felt awful. I spent a good ten minutes apologizing before we decided to call it a night. As you can imagine we’ve not spoken since, I wonder what put him off?! Luckily I can see the humor in these situations as they happen far too often.
If you had sat opposite me and my friends on the bus yesterday chances are you would not have had a clue there was anything wrong with me. When I shuddered, and my friends asked in hushed tones if I was cold, you would not have paid a second thought to it. In reality that shudder was my body trying desperately to twitch but failing due to the injections, my friends whispered question was simply because they know that the cold aggravates my Dystonia. I currently walk around Oxford like a human marshmallow, swaddled in layers, with my gloves, hat and scarf on. My joints are already painful most days. I compensate for this though, my bedroom generally feels like a sauna.
Winter is coming. For many Dystonia, EDS and other spoonies winter impacts their chronic illness, causing spasms, pain flares etc. Managing your symptoms gets harder and if you’re anything like me and run head first at every challenge your condition presents, then you’ll find that with winter you’ll crash and flare more often. Symptom diaries are a fantastic tool to keep. Learning what you can do to keep on top of your health is the best approach you can take.
I know that in winter If I go out with no gloves and only one pair of socks, I am going to spend the day apologizing to all the people I pass in the street as I’ll accidentally hit them when I twitch. It’s humiliating, and avoidable if I just remember to wrap up. If my room gets to cold I know I shall spend the night in agony with my body spasming. Again this is avoidable. I may not be able to prevent every single spasm, but I can definitely prevent the worst of them by taking sensible measures.
So please all you amazing spoonie warriors, wrap up this winter and don’t put yourself at risk!
I’d like to start this post off by apologizing in advance if bits don’t quite make sense. I have a fair bit of medication in my system and I am having to concentrate very hard as I do not really feel like I am with it today. Over the last few days my body has been very interesting. I presumed it was just in meltdown mode after the trip to London and back for my Botox injections last Tuesday. My right leg in particular has been bad. The spasms have been impressive but rather painful. I have found myself repeatedly over the last few days in the position in the photo below. which I can assure you is not a comfortable one to be in.
Last night my body did full body twitches, which was a new symptom for me, however this did not seem to stop, then my leg joined in spasming repeatedly into the above position. However several times whilst in that position my hip spasmed in one direction and my lower leg spasmed in the opposite direction. This caused agony, and according to my family they all heard a cracking sound. I then started to have lots of my Non Epileptic Seizures. In between seizures when I was spasming we tried administering our crisis medication, Tramadol and diazepam, but this did not seem to touch the pain or the spasms, which meant that an Ambulance had to be phoned.
The paramedics, Gareth and Amanda, were two of the nicest people I have met. They helped keep me as comfortable as possible, which is saying something considering the amount of pain I was in. It was decided that I needed to go to hospital to have my leg checked out as it was swelling and they thought I had torn a ligament. In the end they gave me IV morphine which made me slightly sleepy and giggle, to helped ease the pain enough to transfer me into the ambulance safely, where they then gave me Gas and Air. I now understand why the women I looked after on the labour ward loved the stuff so much. At first it had me creasing up in laughter like a crazy woman, eventually I then thought I was dreaming the whole situation, which was when we decided I had maybe had enough of it. I have to say I was so impressed by the standard of care they gave me. They didn’t know anything about my condition, but they treated better than half the previous doctors I have seen!
The doctor Teeto and the nurse Precious in charge of my care, were again wonderful people. I feel extremely lucky to have been under the care. Teeto actually knew a fair bit about Dystonia and was not fazed by spasms at all. He quickly had me sent down to x-ray to make sure I had not broken my knee, where I had some more seizures on the poor woman as she to move my leg about. Thankfully I have not broken anything!! I have just damaged and pulled some of the bits in my leg. Teeto, sent me home with a box of Diazepam, his plan is for me to take this at regular intervals over the next few days, in the hope it will break this new spasm cycle.
Whilst I am in a lot pain now, and feeling rather spaced, I am so thankful that I was under the care of four such wonderful people last night. They were all so caring, and you could tell really wanted to help stop my pain and spasms. It is amazing the difference incredible people like these can make during times when you are in agony!